Beyond a tourist

Trip Start Jul 13, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Spain  , Catalonia,
Monday, July 26, 2010

Today was a day that I went beyond the title of tourist.  Today we stayed in and made Paella for some of Manuel's friends.  When I say I helped, I really mean I cut a few vegetables, tossed a few ingredients in the pan and then ate the Paella.  Actually, I was quite surprised to find that making this famous Spanish dish is not very difficult and I think I may be able to replicate back home.  I made sure to capture Manuel on video for insurance incase I happen to forget.  One of the things that made our Paella so amazing was that we used super fresh seafood that we bought at the Boqueria, the Market just off of La Rambla.  I have never seen fruits so bright in color.  The market is a Foodie's heaven.  

His friends rated the Paella around an 8.5, which I think is pretty good.  But the best part of the meal (and mind you we made TWO paellas and each had TWO servings!) was the dessert.  His one friend brought over this delicious little balls of chocolate heaven.  Imagine a small doughy ball stuffed with thick, rich, gooey dark chocolate accompanied with the ever so popular ice cream espresso a la Manuel.  Hello heavenly dessert, I love you!  The afternoon meal put me directly into food coma and allowed me first true siesta since I have been here.  I passed out on the sunny terrace, where the warmth of the afternoon kept me peaceful enough to sleep for 1 hour.  We continued relaxing with a movie and then drove up to an area of town Zona Alta to the Tibidabo, which is the highest peak of the Collserola Mountains.  Another chance to see a fabulous view of Barcelona.  

Tomorrow we are off to Costa Brava for a day trip.  If it is anything like the beaches of Sitges, I know I will have a spectacular day.  

Thought of the day -
Each day I have made an attempt to sit with myself, in a moment of silence and center.  I am so used to needing to move from one activity to the next that I have promised myself time to just be.  No expectations, no "have to this or that", just time to be.  Before I drifted off into my beautiful deep siesta this afternoon - this thought came to mind:
What if we took our relationships in life one step further?  Opened up a little more.  Gave another layer of ourselves.  It may be with a partner, your best friend, parents, a sibling, even a client, but offer a little more.  Be a little vulnerable.  Take a little less and give of yourself a little more.  I was surprised to realize it hit a fearful cord in me.  As much as I think I am present and open, I have some armor that I need to remove.  Perhaps this journey is about removing the armor.  Get close, be real, be authentic - BE PRESENT.  

I hope you have a chance to be fully present today.  

It is almost 1am - I am going to bed.  Somehow the days and nights fly by around here.  Goodnight!  With love from Barcelona and a belly that is STILL full with Paella..... 
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